Tuesday, January 11, 2005

Howard's End

So, what's wrong with Howard Dean chairing the DNC?

He was a terrible Presidential candidate. And sure, he's a polarizing public figure. But the DNC chair isn't the president nor is he running for the presidency. Dean has already done that. And while he was terrible at being the short-lived front-runner, he was great at running an insurgency campaign, gaining attention and momentum, and energizing the BASE. Which is something the Dems need right now.

He embraces the Party platform and has worked to build upon it. Which is what the DNC chair should do.

He attracted NEWand YOUNG people to the Democratic Party last year, and he has demonstrated an ability to continue attracting NEW and YOUNG people to the Party. Which is what the DNC chair should do.

He is an extraordinary fundraiser, able to raise huge amounts of small donations from a variety of sources. Which is what the DNC chair should do.

He ran a revolutionary e-campaign, finally bringing the internet to the Dems and getting the message online. Some would say that it should have been done years ago, but he was the guy who stopped talking about it and actually did it. And that is what the DNC chair should do - stop talking and act.

Dean is hardly an outsider. BUT. He does think like an outsider, which is the best of both worlds. A guy who knows the system and knows how to work around the system. He's a centrist who acts like a liberal and knows how to shape his own image, rather than wait for the Republicans to shape his image for him. Why WOULDN'T the Dems want him as the DNC chair? Because he screamed at a rally? Because the Republicans would make fun of them?

Newsflash, hippies: the Republicans hate you. They will make fun of you no matter what you do or who you choose. The GOP controls everything else - do they really need to call the shots for the DNC now, too? And please ... please, don't seriously consider pro-life/anti-abortion Tim Roemer. Anything that further destroys the distinction between the 2 parties will just piss off the base and turn new people off from wanting to join a party that doesn't even want them as members.

Dean has essentially wrecked any chance of himself ever actually holding an elected, public office again ... but he is a high profile, no-nonsense, straight-talking, politcally savvy guy who might just be exactly what the DNC chairman should be right now: a public figure who can take the heat, who's been there/done that, and who can actually generate some sort of excitement and emotion from people who AREN'T political hacks. An insider who walks and talks like an outsider - a player.

I was never a Deaniac. I was a Kerry guy all along who thought Gen. Clark would also have been an excellent choice. I'm a "the right man* for the right job at the right time" sorta guy. Dean wasn't the right man for that job at that time. But this - this might just be the right job for him. And now's definitely the right time.

The Democrats have always been the party of the people - so, let's let the people decide. So far, the establisment has done a pretty piss poor job of choosing chairs ... with their recent track record of failure, maybe can we try it a different way? If it doesn'twork, we can always go back to the safe, status quo choices. But the Dems aren't supposed to be about the status quo - ever. And if the Democratic Party is concerned about shaking up the statu quo, then perhaps that's exactly what we need to do right now - upset the status quo.

*I know, I know. But saying "the right man or woman" or "the right person" just didn't have the right flow. But I'm still sensitive and understanding. And I love the ladies.